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Students? row boils over

THE ONGOING face-off between hostellers and day scholars of Gandhi Medical College (GMC) boiled over yet again. Parents of a section of day scholar students have alleged that the GMC administration was sheltering and supporting hosteller students who were allegedly involved in ragging and violence.

india Updated: Dec 29, 2006 16:25 IST

THE ONGOING face-off between hostellers and day scholars of  Gandhi Medical College (GMC) boiled over yet again. Parents of a section of day scholar students have alleged that the GMC administration was sheltering and supporting  hosteller students who were allegedly involved in ragging and violence.

The latest tension has been sparked off by an incident that occurred on December 26 wherein the GMC students’ union president Sankalp Joshi, a hosteller student of fourth year, allegedly assaulted Ankur Gupta of third year, injuring the latter in his private parts. Joshi also allegedly threatened Ankur with dire consequences over the phone.

Ankur Gupta and his parents – R P Gupta and Sarika Gupta – alleged at a press conference on Friday that following the incident neither the college administration, nor the police were willing to help them.

Ankur said he was assaulted by Joshi without any provocation on the college porch and was saved only by the intervention by associate professor and member of the anti-ragging committee Dr Mukul Yadav, but not before being hit in testes.

Sharad and Nisha Shukla, parents of Ankur’s classmate Lekhansh Shukla – who were also present at the press conference, alleged the GMC administration was totally apathetic to the continuing cases of ragging and violence by the hosteller students and were instead ‘supporting and sheltering’ the involved students. They said they had  taken the matter to the Health Minister, the Chief Minister’s office and even the Governor House, but to no avail.

Ankur’s parents said  they could not meet GMC Dean Dr M K Saraswat on Tuesday – the day of incidence – despite sitting outside his office for three hours. Also, their son was made to wait for a long time at the Koh-e-Fiza police station yet a FIR was not registered. It had not been registered till Thursday evening.

Parents of the two students said  their sons had been opposing ragging since their first year in college and in recent times had helped junior students in avoiding being ragged by hosteller seniors, and had thus been made targets of violence.

Lekhansh Shukla was one of the four students who were apparently indicted wrongly in a case of ragging and suspended by the GMC administration during the last week of September.

However, after the matter was taken to the MP Human Rights Commission and one of the first-year students who had been allegedly ragged gave an affidavit saying he had lodged a FIR against Shukla and his three classmates under pressure from other seniors (hostellers), the suspension of Shukla and three others were revoked after a month.

The Dean had given a written undertaking to the MPHRC that action would be taken to ensure that no ragging or violence occurred and that the hostel facilities would be revamped in a way to safeguard the junior students. No action has yet been forthcoming in this matter, Lekhansh’s parents charged.

Also, the day scholar students had not been going to the college for several weeks since September owing to alleged threatening by the hostellers, thus losing out on attendance. Lekhansh expressed apprehension that he might have to forfeit the pre-university exams scheduled to commence on January 3.